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Tacoma, WA, Senate Bill 6009, Manuel Ellis, Mena, Hog-tying

Source: David Ryder / Getty

In Olympia, the Washington State House of Representatives made a crucial move to address the risks associated with hog-tying, four years after the death of Manuel “Manny” Ellis. By passing Senate Bill 6009, lawmakers hope to rebuild trust between community members and law enforcement and to create clear guidelines that will help safeguard lives.

On Feb. 28, Senate Bill 6009, proposed by Sen. Yasmin Trudeau and Rep. Sharlett Mena, passed through the Washington State House chamber with a resounding 89-7 vote, according to House Democrats. 

The bill will ban the use of hog-tying, an inhumane restraint tactic that has led to tragic consequences. Despite its deadly outcomes, some law enforcement agencies in Washington continue to employ this method. The bill not only bans hog-tying but also classifies it as excessive force, mandating officers to intervene and report any colleagues who utilize it.

 

Who was Manuel Ellis?

Ellis, a 33-year-old Black man, died after he was handcuffed and hogtied during his arrest in Tacoma, Washington, in March 2020. While walking home, Ellis was approached by ex-Tacoma officers, Matthew Collins, Christopher Burbank and Timothy Rankine. The trio  — who were acquitted of Ellis’ death in December 2023 — alleged that the 33-year-old was aggressive when they encountered him, which caused them to tase and subdue him using the hog-tie method. Video evidence later showed that Ellis was never combative during his encounter with the officers.

His death was ruled a homicide caused by hypoxia due to restraint, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed, but legal reps for Collins, Burbank and Rankine argued that Ellis’ death was caused by his methamphetamine use and his underlying heart condition, leading to their successful acquittal in December.

After the bill passed through the Washington State House chamber on Wednesday, Mena urged Senate officials to swiftly sign the bill into law. Senate Bill 6009 will now head back to the Senate for verification before Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee approves the legislation, Queens City News noted.

“This bill is about a simple but powerful thing. Hog-tying was originally used for pigs and four animals. This practice is dehumanizing and dangerous, yet it is still authorized by a handful of jurisdictions, including one in my own district. While this policy isn’t about one case, we must grapple with the reality that this still happens, sometimes right in front of us,” Rep. Mena said. 

In January, Tacoma officials released a “voluntary separation” agreement, disclosing that officers Collins, Burbank and Rankine would receive $500,000, a severance payment to leave the Tacoma Police Department.

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The post Washington State Finally Bans Police Hog-Tying Four Years After Manuel ‘Manny’ Ellis’ Death appeared first on NewsOne.

Washington State Finally Bans Police Hog-Tying Four Years After Manuel ‘Manny’ Ellis’ Death  was originally published on newsone.com